Retriever Training

Pointing, retrieving, flushing, tracking, behavioral issues, puppy training, etc.

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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Willie T » Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:31 am

Draw on spuds love of birds. That will help the attitude.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 1:13 pm

GONEHUNTIN' wrote:You're seeing it yourself AG, but I warned you some time ago: These are not labs and as such you CANNOT do repetitions with them and keep them happy. They hate it. It doesn't have to be repetetion on marks, it can be on blinds as well and I thought from what I saw you were running too many water blinds without adequate control. The resentment on blinds carry's through to the resentment on marks. It is training in general. I'd maybe train one day a week and hunt him. These German dog's can be extremely frustrating animals to work with. Too much repetetion and they walk. Beware Lardy for a V dog; his CD's are extremely complex and geared to the field trial Labrador.


Yep. I knew better is the heck of it. I don't think there is anything going on that we can't get past with me doing better. I have not bought the Lardy CDs yet, is there a program you think fits a Vdog better and recommend?

Willie T, right on, on using the birds to get his mind right. He loved those bird contacts we got on the Prairie this weekend and I loved watching it. He will be retrieving doves in a few days and loving every minute of it.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:37 pm

Agree with GH and Willie.

In my mind blinking on dummies is the same as blinking on point - maybe from too much pressure, although too much repetition or too many marks could well play into it; however, in those cases the dog slows down. Too much pressure can also result in bugging (eating grass, being preoccupied with other stuff, etc.) and I see that in one of my dogs.

Because (with dummies at least) there's nothing in it for the dog, they're particularly sensitive to any pressure - perceived or otherwise. I reward pretty much every retrieve with a few pieces of kibble - not sure it makes the dog hustle more but at least I feel like I'm paying for work the dog might not like otherwise. They do come to expect the reward but they'll refuse it when a higher valued one is around (like a dead or live bird) so I don't worry about it.

I find it hard to talk about this stuff without seeming preachy. It seems like your water marks are too long for everyday training. It's not about how far they swim so keep them short if you can (the pond size probably is a factor here). Do lots of singles and keep doubles wide so there is less tendency to switch. Make sure the dog doesn't have to hunt much once he gets in the area of the fall - he should be rewarded quickly for a good work. New stuff should be done in the yard or close-in and taught slowly before extending distances. Decheating exercises can be hard on the dog's morale.

I'm also very careful about corrections with the collar in training. Dogs don't mind being corrected for stuff they know they did wrong but if they're unsure then then they will be hesitant to work hard. Sure they slow down after a couple of reps but I always give them a happy bumper afterwards so they keep up the enthusiasm. If Spud really did blink the mark he was certainly coy about it, having a strong entry and no nonsense work otherwise.

Lastly, the DVDs of Lardy, Hillman, Graham all do way more reps than the average Vdog will do. And they often use a lot of force - force to water, force to pile, force fetch, etc. I'm particularly unhappy with Graham's approach in general. As GH says, they're instruction manuals for a different breed of dog.

Your dog has tons of steam, marks well and behaves like you've done a great job thus far. Keep up the good work!
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby crackerd » Mon Aug 26, 2019 2:45 pm

Willie T wrote:Draw on spuds love of birds. That will help the attitude.


Absolutely. Which is why I'm puzzled by AG noting that

AverageGuy wrote:I expect shooting live fliers would have him going straight to his marks but that is an expensive and laborious way to train.


You know the old saying AG: Takes birds to make a bir-, er to make a duck dog. Why and for whom are a flyers are a laborious way to train? - for dogs on the receiving (and retrieving) end, it's a glorious way to train.

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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 4:07 pm

Thanks for the good input Gentlemen.

Bruce,

His blinking of bumpers was pure boredom when it happened vs pressure. First showed up at an evening training day in 92 degrees throwing simple doubles using other peoples bumpers with strange dogs smells on them which he had never done before. He would do the go bird but blink the memory bird acting like he did not know where it was and using it as an opportunity to loop around.

I have not put much pressure on him for the most part but did get in a hassle when he switched once, I did not do too many reps on any given day, but I did train on too many days in a row and under adverse conditions i.e. heat with alot of waiting when going to some training days.

edit to add:
(Thinking a moment longer I think I did apply pressure in that this dog and I have an excellent bond. So when I ask him to do something he likely does feel pressure if he does not really want to do what I told him to do. So overwork could amount to pressure in his mind.)

On distances; I was using distances similar to what we were going to see in the test, as well as working with the water I have, as well as using lines which do not invite cheating which then have some consequences on distances depending on the water. I am not rejecting your advice, just responding I am not sure how to prepare for a Hunt Test without simulating the level of challenge the Test presents at some point. He has less problems with hunting on his marks at shorter distances for sure but I don't know how to advance past that if I do not run setups which present the level of challenge presented in the Hunt Test.

Please advise further as to how you approach it.

I doubt I will ever take on de-cheating of this dog. He is not bad until the line really invites and I am not going to ruin my hunting dog over it.

MG,

I am likely to use some live fliers when we take this work back up, but I have a freezer full of dead birds and no shooter. I can use my banded dead ducks on a bunch of public water to train but cannot shoot live ducks on the same waters. My Wife is my day to day training partner, she cannot shoot and there are no good odds on where her throws are going to land a good deal of the time either. My nearest good option for a training partner is 1.5 hours away which I can make work often enough to be successful now that I have gotten to know some folks this past summer. Those are the details behind my comment.

I realize nothing will juice a dog up more than shooting live birds. I also recognize however that we are using our best stuff when we use live fliers so if we have problems we don't have anything better to fall back on.

Let me ask you: If you go to live fliers to bring up a dog's drive to focus and give its best effort on marks, what has been your experience when you go back to throwing dead ducks, dolkens or bumpers for that dog? Is the dog all the more apt to be bored with them?
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Mon Aug 26, 2019 6:30 pm

I ran a couple of marks this evening by myself. One water, one land. Left Spud on sit command and went maybe 90 yards away on each, blew my duck call, tossed a Dolken and fired a blank. Released him to retrieve with a Back. He went right to both as fast as he could go. We have work to do but if I go about it correctly I think we will be fine. If I had run my phone correctly I would have gotten excellent video of Spud making a 60 yard point on a turkey and standing to wing when it flushed. :evil:

Driving home I ran through my head the folks and their dogs I have been around this summer.

One guy has a Chessie with some lower titles and one Senior pass. I have trained with the dog 3 times and it does well in training but apparently hates the Hunt Tests and chomps birds to show it.

One Lady has Flatcoats and battles cheating water a bunch.

One guy has a nice young lab that has been coming along very well. Passed a NAHRA Intermediate but has failed 2 since so hitting some snags.

Another guy has a nice young lab with one Master Level pass and he is now focusing on the Trials scene for the moment. He remarked he had hit some snags but expected to work through it.

The Sunday we flunked, there was a Judge running a Master titled dog in the Started level. The dog had started breaking in the Hunt Test environment and the Handler wanted to use the single marks at a real Hunt test to work on it.

Another guy has a dog with some Master level passes but some recent struggles and several no passes in a row now.

Worked 3 tests where a guy ran his lab at the Hunter Level. The dog clamps down on birds and he does his best to roll it out of the dog's mouth without getting flunked.

Watched a Chessie cross water to a mark on land, get the duck and then sit there glaring at the handler pleading for it to return. The dog returned but unfortunately left the duck.

A GSP in the group has a Started Title and a couple of Hunter level passes then started breaking. Worked on that and the dog decided to stay in the water with its bird instead of returning to the handler. Handler had to go into the water to get the dog.

A DD in the group cheats water at every opportunity.

Watched a Lab jump in and swim to its water mark, turned and left the duck floating.

Seems to be common to hit some snags in this work.
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby Bruce Schwartz » Mon Aug 26, 2019 8:17 pm

My dog's perfect .... but I forgot to say that in the last master level hunt test she broke on second bird of a land triple. The judges told me we were out and to put the lead on her to use as an honor dog for the next one ... but then she broke on the first bird of that dog's triple mark, jerked the lead out of my hands and drug the lead all the way to the bird which she nicely retrieved. The gallery got a kick out of it but the pro who was running that next dog not so much. And so it goes ....
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Re: Retriever Training

Postby AverageGuy » Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:23 am

Bruce Schwartz wrote:My dog's perfect .... but I forgot to say that in the last master level hunt test she broke on second bird of a land triple. The judges told me we were out and to put the lead on her to use as an honor dog for the next one ... but then she broke on the first bird of that dog's triple mark, jerked the lead out of my hands and drug the lead all the way to the bird which she nicely retrieved. The gallery got a kick out of it but the pro who was running that next dog not so much. And so it goes ....


:lol:
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